Homemade Macaroni Salad

Blow that deli macaroni salad out of the water in every way. Great fresh taste from fresh ingredients with these easy step by step photo instructions.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: macaroni salad, pasta salad, picnic side dish
Servings: 8
Calories: 193kcal
Author: Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan


  • 2 cups pasta 8 oz.
  • 1 cup mayonnaise regular or low-fat
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1-2 teaspoon sugar to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 red onion small or 1/2 medium
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 pepper red or green
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • Cook 2 cups pasta according to package directions. A one pound box of pasta is generally 4 cups.
  • In a large bowl mix 1 cup mayonnaise (regular or low-fat), three tablespoons milk, two tablespoon vinegar, one tablespoon mustard, 1-2 teaspoon sugar to taste, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  • Finely chop one small or 1/2 medium red onion, two stalks celery and one pepper (red or green)
  • Mix pasta with the dressing, veggies and 1 cup of shredded mild cheddar cheese. Refrigerate for a few hours to blend flavors.


Pro Tips

  1. This is a very easy recipe to cut in half or double, but since I mainly use this for gatherings, this is the amount I commonly make. It also uses the full pepper.
  2. Use low-fat mayo if you want.
  3. A one-pound box of macaroni is 4 cups dry pasta.
  4. Good refrigerated for 3-4 days but will not freeze well.
  5. Tastes better if it spends a few hours in the refrigerator after mixing.
  6. This one of those dishes that can lead to food poisoning. Please obey the food safety rules. SeeĀ Summer Food Safety if you have questions.
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Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 330mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 0.4mg